Eminem has dropped another surprise album, this time a deluxe of sorts following on from his January release titled 'Music to Be Murdered By: Side B'. I don't review deluxe albums, but this is counted as an actual studio album on its own according to multiple review sights, a bit like Lil Uzi Vert and NAV's deluxe albums were. With that being said, it's a new album and I will review it here and then it will go into the discography ranking separate to 'Music to Be Murdered By'.
Most of the production on here is great, full of banging trap beats, such as the lead single 'Gnat' which has this spongy trap beat, there’s 2 beat switches as well that keep this track so fresh, as he compares his lyrical ability to COVID and flexes his rapping ability throughout the track with some crazy wordplay, metaphors and bars. The track has a fun hook, his laid back flow really is enjoyable he should try it more, the beat switches too elevate this track to top tier quality and it’s possibly my favourite song on here. There are a few lackluster beats however, such as on 'These Demons' which has a heavy trap beat, with these hollow bells which add a whole other dimension to the track and we get another funky beat switch at the end which is fire, as Em talks on different topics from critics to COVID to Black Lives Matter to even Mariah Carey. He gives a nice commentary from Em with some funny and witty punchlines, "Why would I go? It's more fun to stay (Ah) // You get me to leave? There's no fuckin' way // I got a better chance of fuckin' Young M.A. (Ooh)", as MAJ isn't nothing special about the performance, but didn’t ruin the track. Yeah, again the hook’s just kind of there, bars are fine it’s an OK song but I don’t like it too much. It's probably my least favourite on here so far, that final verse especially the ending really did boost the track a bit. Overall though, despite a few odd choices or instruments being introduced the production is good and Em does his thing over them. 'Alfred's Theme' has this circus type beat, it’s really weird and unique, I wasn't exactly feeling it on first listen but when them drums come in it’s actually cool as it's littered with smooth bars, punchlines and wordplay – it’s so layered lyrically. He talks about how he's still the best, the hate he gets means nothing to him cause he’s rich and he knows he’s the best rapper now and ever. It’s a good song, not great but his rapping is on point and this beat just makes everything seem so funny, the bars are cool, Em’s flow is tight for the most part and it’s enjoyable.
Lyrically Em has arguably peaked here, it’s full of corny lines still but they hit better because they’re just funny, like on 'Favorite Bitch', "When there was two Dr. Dre's, that's a paradox (Pair of Docs)", as he also provides more controversial humour, "And I know nothing is funny 'bout the Manchester bombing // But we got something in common (What?), both of us are alarming // Foul, disgusting, and awful (Yeah), so repugnant and ugly (Yup) // I could give the Boston Marathon a run for its money, yeah", as it's another double entendre song where he’s talking about how him and this girl used to be together – a double meaning of when he was on top of the rap game over another lowkey trap beat with racing synths which is really solid beat. Ty Dolla $ign gives a standard Ty hook, you can’t go wrong with it and overall it’s got a nice vibe to it, again I don’t think it’s one of em’s best songs or even the best on this album but it’s good. The wordplay on here is so sharp and witty, as on 'Killer', "Went up to this chick who was so tipsy, we went to hug // Ended up tripping, I picked her up // She yelled out it's her birthday // She's fifty and in the club // Then it comes on (Yeah), that "In da Club" song (Yeah)", as the track see's Em flaunt his money and talks about sleeping with this girl over a club type trap beat, really vibey and seductive, which sounds great. It's a really catchy song designed for clubs, and it’s genuinely while simple in its execution just incredibly enjoyable and replayable. His lyricism and bars are so complex and in depth like the rhyme schemes on here, as on the track 'Book of Rhymes', "Anybody wanna go tit for tat's gonna get hit with that // Then the amygdala hippocampus is gonna trigger the ignoramus // To think of the most ridiculous shit to spit then // Pit it against these pitiful rappers // Insidious, these idiots wittiest shit against me shitty as MC Hammer's", which has this pretty fire trap beat, the keys really add to the track as he claims he’s still the best and shits on the new generation again. This is the first real song to shout about, Em provides a mean flow, spitting so much bars for so long as well, the hooks fun and it’s a menacing, angry Em we all know and love. It honestly blows me away someone can be this good with words. The faster flows are on display here, while not his best flows ever they’re still great and he sounds as confident and sharp as ever.
The features are good overall, most add something to the track, like Sly Pyper on 'Guns Blazing' who gives us an enjoyable hook, as Dr. Dre sounds different on here, but he also sounds focused and mean over these really heavy, crashing drums and this menacing, dark trap beat as the song see's Dre talking about the messy divorce with his ex wife while Em is talking about an ex relationship with some girl called Michelle (may have been a secret relationship we didn’t know about). The beat, Dre, Em, Sly – literally everything hits so hard and this is one of my favourites of the album and it’s so good to see Dre and Em back together. There’s a few I wasn’t exactly feeling, like Sly Pyper on 'Higher', who's hooks pretty meh over this rock arena type rap beat with this aggressive synth bass which sounds amazing as Em talks on how everytime he thinks he’s reached the top of the game, going the furthest possible he outdoes himself and goes further with some pretty uninteresting wordplay but powerful bars, "But lookin' back how bad it was then // If it hadn't been for the pad and the pen // Addict mom and deadbeat dad // I wouldn't have had the savage within havin' to win // Every single battle I'm in". The hooks not too bad, it’s grown on me but still not my favourite, but everything else from this track is pretty great from the bars to the flow to just the overall sound of the verses. Overall though Em is still the main attraction of his tracks but the songs with features on are usually really good. White Gold is on the track 'Zeus', and comes with a really smooth hook, which fits in over this relaxed beat, as Em provides thought provoking, real bars, "And, Drake, they're gonna turn on you (You) one day too (Too) // And the more you win, the sooner (Sooner) they do // They'll be calling you a trash bin // Sayin' that your new one isn't better than your last and // Even if it is, once they start to turn their backs // They ain't never comin' back in // They did it to Chance // Next they'll be mentionin' Future in the past tense (Yeah) // Or sayin' "Adiós" to Migos", and claims he’s the god of the rap game again, touches on a lot like dissing Snoop Dogg, telling Drake, Chance the Rapper, Future and Migos one day their fans will turn on them too as well as reflecting on his career and critics. It’s really lowkey and relaxed like a few songs on here, everything runs so elegantly and Em is just talking to us over this pretty good beat - I really enjoy this song for what it is.
There's not much content on here, most of the track’s purpose is Em seeing how many bars he can put into a song, like on 'Tone Deaf' which has these spongy keys like on 'Godzilla' with these nice drums over them, it’s very lowkey and does a job as he provides tongue in cheeky, funny punchlines with clever wordplay throughout, "You think gettin' rid of me's a piece of cake? // I'm harder than findin' Harvey Weinstein a date (Haha) // And that's why they say I got more lines than Black Friday". The hook’s catchy, not the best of the album, but his flow on the verses and his charisma really pushes this song along, again while not ‘great’ it’s still a good song. The usual tracks revolving around dysfunctional relationships is on here, such as the opener 'Black Magic', which ends in Em killing this girl, as Skylar Grey has some really great vocals on the hook, arguably the best hook she’s done for an Eminem song over these racing synths over this trap beat, which absolutely slaps. Em provides some witty punchlines, and this whole dark aesthetic is captured brilliantly and Em does his thing - a great start to the album. As I said not much content on here, not that it doesn’t keep it enjoyable just a fact. 'She Loves Me' is about this girl he’s seeing but he realises she only likes him for his money over head bobbing drums with these horns giving us a solid beat. It's not the most lyrically engaging of the album but the really simple but catchy hook, followed by bouncy verses and while as I said not lyrically outstanding, the song is just infectious and a great track. 'Discombobulated' talks on loads with no real focus from how he can’t lose in war, how he’s the same rapper from pre-fame and just playful jabs all throughout. Dre gives us this really zany, piano based beat with these haunting female vocals as the track is full of funny bars, wordplay and punchlines like most this album, "Just flew the coop, the cops are in hot pursuit // But the day they catch me is the day 50'll call a truce // And quash the feud with him and Ja and Ja'll actually spit a bar // That's not from a Dr. Seuss book and they'll start a group (Haha)". This is an amazing end to the album, this feels like 'Relapse' Em with the dumb but catchy hook and fun flows and accents – he gave the fans what they wanted with this song and it paid off.
To conclude, it really sounds like Em is just having fun on this, and it translates into a fun listen. The skits are very atmospheric and enjoyable – they're not always needed but they provide entertainment, just like the album as everything about this is just enjoyable, the verses are really good and the lyricism is stupid and clever, it's really fun to catch all the bars in here. He’s proving why he’s one of, maybe even the, greatest rapper to ever liver, nearly 50 and able to rap like this is incredible. The production and his style is more proof he’s fitting into this new landscape of rap perfectly, whether he gets the credit for it or not. There's a few hooks and features are misses, but there’s no outright ‘bad’ song on here, and it’s another addition to an already legendary career. This counts as it’s separate album I assume as mentioned earlier, and while it’s not probably top 5 Em it’s still a great edition to a legendary discography and the majority of songs are great but not elite, even so at this stage of his career that’s really good, no bad or even meh songs although there’s some just OK – really glad what we got with this B side.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Black Magic, Book of Rhymes, Guns Blazing, Gnat, Higher, She Loves Me, Killer, Zeus, Discombobulated
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: These Demons
OVERALL RATING: Solid 8.5/10